Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Cover Story – Rab Noakes

Rab Noakes has been a contemporary songwriter for over 30 years.

From his first album in 1970 “Did You See The Lights” he  firmly established himself at the forefront of Scottish pop music as both a prolific and gifted writer of hook-laden songs and an original and affectionate interpreter of the American popular music back-catalogue.

With material ranging from blues to country, from early Motown to Beck, from Sam Cooke to Radiohead, and from Felice Bryant to the inimitable Rab himself, it is easy to see why his repertoire has been described as “a roots festival in itself” (The Herald).

With a career spanning over fifteen albums and major collaborations with Lindisfarne, Gerry Rafferty, Stealers Wheel and early Dylan producer Bob Johnston, Rab displays “the expertise of someone who’s done it all” (Living Tradition).

In the 1990’s Rab formed the Varaflames, whose members have included such luminaries as Rod Clements (Lindisfarne), guitar wizard Jerry Donahue, Ewen Vernal (Deacon Blue), Pick Withers (Dire Straits) and harmonica ace, Fraser Speirs, with whom Rab still occasionally performs. 

It was a performance with Fraser at Backstage at The Green, in Kinross which I was to attend, though ultimately didn’t, that had me searching my archives recently for some lost tunes.

On doing so and despite him being a recognised songwriter, I came across a few interesting cover version two of which I bring you now from the album “Standing Up” released in 1995.

First up is an interesting take on a talkinh Heads song.

“Psycho Killer” – Rab Noakes

Next one of my favourite Blue Nile songs, but without the voice what is the point?

“The Downtown Lights” – Rab Noakes

To buy the music of Rab Noakes click HERE


February 21, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories | , , , , | Leave a comment


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